Sex Toys in M/M Romances: Do They Make Some Authors Uncomfortable?

anal stuffer

I need to say this before some of you are tempted to smack me around. This is a FUN post – just take a look at the topic!! 😉

Are authors embarrassed by sex toys? Maybe some of them are because they have no idea why real people or fictional characters would need or want them, however, whatever their personal feelings they bravely include toys in their stories and hope like hell that their protagonists use them correctly. 🙂 Sometimes they guess right, but more often wrong, don’t realize it, and go merrily along. Perhaps they should quit while they are ahead. Readers’ tastes range from one extreme to another, whether it’s in books or real life, and the reason why M/M romances are so popular is that there’s a book for every fan  – from kink to vanilla. What I’m saying is, if you’re not comfortable with toys you might want to give them a rest, because your lack of experience or knowledge might show. Also, toys for guys are different to those used by the female of the species, so the learning curve to get it right might be steep if you are of the opposite gender than the one you’re writing about. Even some male writers may not be as au fait as they may think they are about toys. LOL

When I read M/M romances with sex toys there are times I get the impression that adding dildoes, cock rings, nipple clamps, wands, handcuffs etc., (which a lot of gay men use), even mutually shaving their characters’ pubic areas, is outside of the authors’ comfort zones. If you’re an author and you’re going to write about sex toys perhaps a bit of research might be in order. Of course some writers do a good job on this theme, but not enough of them. I’m sure that a few readers wonder WTF? when they come across various sex toys in these books, and there’s nothing wrong with being vanilla which I understand is a very nice flavour.  😉

I was re-reading Sean Michael’s Secrets, Skin & Leather, one of my favourite kinky books (I admit that Sean’s writing is not a favourite of some readers because there’s lots and lots of sex in his books, but I’m a fan) and I was reminded why I love this book. It took me out of my comfort zone and right into the fetish scene, which a lot of readers and authors might consider total debauchery. The reason I mention it is that books like SS&L are great for research into this theme if you want to plunge head first into it.

vibrating cock ring

Reading SS&L again made me decide to do some new research in this area to save you the work 🙂 (I love this kind of research) just in case you wondered about them when you include sex toys in your stories. Many contemporary M/M romances feature cock rings. Have you ever seen one? They come in all shapes, sizes, colours and types. Why, you might ask, would someone in RL or books need sex toys? One reason might be to add a bit of colour or spice to his sex life, like different coloured condoms – I heard that hot pink is now ‘in’.  😉 Obviously not everyone needs spice and there’s nothing wrong with being into vanilla sex with no enhancements, but in case you don’t know what all the fuss is about and want to find out, there’s a whole world out there that might be worth exploring. For example, some authors may believe that wands are things used by the good fairy in fairy tales, but wands have more pleasurable uses apparently, 🙂 although inserting one seems painful, but like BDSM (which is a whole other topic), maybe pain and pleasure are part of the game.

silk dildo

If you’re shy you can order just about anything online, but if you want to touch the merchandise before you take it/them on a trial run, many shops that sell sex toys are located in high rent districts, not in some seedy back street where you might be attacked. In Toronto, the best known shop for sexual aids is Lovecraft and it’s located in Yorkville, possibly the trendiest area in the city, where all the beautiful people hang out. Hmmm….. I think what I’m saying is that if the sex play in your books include toys maybe you should do some research. I find research on some topics titillating, don’t you?

I wanted to include many more pictures but I was afraid of turning all of you off – some of you probably are already, but you must realize

leather cock ring

by now that if you write or read books about gay sex they are not going to fade to black like Harlequin romances, because M/M romances are not your grandmother’s romances. Realistic portrayals of sex between the protagonists might at times include toys, and I don’t mean Ken and Barbie.

Now that I’ve had my fun I’m interested in what you think about sex toys in M/M romances. Do you like them or are you ‘meh’ about the whole thing? Do you like kink in your M/M romances and RL occasionally?


I live in Canada and I love big dogs, music, movies, reading and sports – especially baseball


  • I agree with this comment: “I have read lots of M/M romances with toys and most of them show the author’s lack of knowledge on the topic. Maybe the next post in the Ins and Outs series on the site should be about how to write a story incorporating toys.”

    In addition to the technical problems (e.g., bad match between toy and what it does), the appearance of the toys sometimes seems forced, as if the author found a great toy and had to put it somewhere (pun intended), along with a lot of explanation.

    I also agree with the point that toys are not just for the kinky crowd. My sample is a bit biased because I’ve been doing and teaching BSDM for 25 years, but I’m sure vanilla couples use them.

    • Hello Dilo
      I’ve actually asked a couple of authors to write a piece – not for the Ins and Outs series, but a regular blog post. It will be posted in a few weeks. 🙂

      I also agree with the point that toys are not just for the kinky crowd.

      It seems that a few authors feel that toys = kink and that shows in their writing. LOL

  • Great post Wave! I too love Sean Michael, and possibly one reason is that the use of toys in Sean’s books read realistically. Having been with the hubs for 21 years, we have ventured out of MY comfort zone enough to know that the occasional (or frequent lol!) use of toys in our bedroom only enhances what we have already …….ahem….”perfected” so to speak. As you said, m/m is not “your grandmother’s romance book” and I know that many readers (myself included) has a whole new world open up when I discovered m/m. I think of toys as an extension (no pun intended) of our hands and words…so when I read about them, I see use of toys the same way. Just two (or three) people using what they both want/can to make their sex as good as possible.

    • Hi Elaine
      I think what you said is the best idea behind sex toys. They supplement something that’s really great and make it even better. Once people have a comfort zone and realize that toys are an addition, not an “instead of” I think more readers and people in RL will embrace them.

      Thank you so much for commenting.

  • Funny to read this! A friend just took me on a tour of the building /sets of Closets and closets of toys – dildos, vibes, plugs, crops, etc. – as well as stuff I had NO clue about. 50 gallon barrels of lube with pump attachment…

    Kink will be conducting tours during the Folsom St. Fair so if you happen to be in SF you could check it out. It’s pretty mind boggling.

    • Hi Kel
      It’s strange that you should mention The Folsom Street Fair because I read an M/M book several months ago which detailed most of what goes on during the Fair. For the life of me I can’t remember the name of the book – wish I did because it was an eye opener. Maybe it was a book by Bryl Tyne – not sure about that but it’s bugging me now.

      I’m not planning a trip to SF soon and unfortunately when I was there years ago it wasn’t the right time of year for the Fair. 🙂 I can imagine what eye popping and mind boggling events would be at the Fair. LOL

  • I use toys in my stories – my newest release The Sex Ring (I wasn’t allowed to use the word cock in the title or blurb) came via a reader who told me a wonderful story. He’d modeled leather gear at an AIDS benefit and he bought a couple of the pieces and one of them was a leather jacket with a cock ring on the the epaulette.
    Turns out the jacket belonged to a prominent artist who died thirty years ago. My reader suggested a story where the subject buys the jacket, uses the cock ring and becomes possessed by the dead artist.
    That is the book I wrote. One of my faves!! I also have the Tenga in this story. That is a toy no man should live without! The instructions come with an awesome video with the words “Lock the door and moan softly” LOL.
    Tengas are the best invention EVER.
    I also emailed the Maesrto of Kink, Tony Buff and asked him if I could use him in the story and he said yes. He was quite excited by the idea 🙂
    This is one of my favorite writing experiences ever!!

    • AJ

      >>my newest release The Sex Ring (I wasn’t allowed to use the word cock in the title or blurb)<< I find that strange since there's a book out called "Beautiful C**ksucker" by Barbara Sheridan - I think there's probably a sequel as well. I guess it depends on the publisher.

      • Hi Wave…Paypal has clamped down on words such as cock in a book title according to my Publisher. I know authors who have also had their books slammed shut by Paypal for having ass cracks on them or um “jewelry”.
        Tina was keen to publish the book and found an incredible photo that was perfect and the cock ring is there on the leather jacket…it’s just called a Sex Ring for the cover. Also many third party sites don’t allow words like cock and fuck etc. in the blurbs – the excerpts are fair game though – as is the book.

        • I wonder how Manna Francis got away with a title like “Mind Fuck” which is sold on amazon, B & N etc? I guess buyers used their credit cards rather than PayPal.


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